South Africa's rand firms as U.S. jobs data hits dollar
* Rand advances after meek U.S. jobs data
* Stocks fall as risk aversion drags the bourse
(Adds latest prices, analyst quotes, stock prices)
JOHANNESBURG, July 6 (Reuters) - South Africa's rand firmed
on Friday after U.S. employment data disappointed dollar bulls,
while stocks took a hit from fears about the beginning of a
U.S.-China trade war.
At 1315 GMT the rand was 0.48 percent firmer at
15.4750 per dollar, its firmest since June 26.
Traders said resistance level around 13.50 was attracting
buyers, and that a close beneath the level would open the door
to 13.20, but the long term bet remained in favour of the
"Once the rand traded below 13.75 it was bound to trade
stronger, and the weaker than expected nonfarm payrolls added to
the flow," said trader at Rand Merchant Bank Jan Sluis-Cremer.
"But we really need a close below 13.55, 13.60 levels to
move stronger. It's going to be a slow, hard grind and we'll
need a lot of factors to be in the rand's favour."
While the U.S. economy created more jobs than expected in
June, a closely-watched inflation gauge -- wage growth -- rose
less than forecast, further dampening fears its central bank
would raise rates more than the four times promised by the
Bonds also firmed, with the yield on the benchmark paper due
in 2026 falling 7 basis points to 8.66 percent, its
lowest in a month.
Shares fell for a second straight session amid the renewed
trade-war dispute between the United States and China.
The benchmark Top-40 index lost 0.14 percent to
51,122 points while the broader All-share index was
down 0.17 percent to 57,313 points.
"The U.S. went ahead with the tariffs. There are worries
that there will be counter tariffs from China. Russia has also
imposed capital goods which has affected our stocks like
Barloworld. The market is locking in their profits ahead of the
weekend," said Cratos Capital equities trader Greg Davies.
Barloworld closed down at 4.80 percent to 124 rand.
The banking index fell 1.77 percent with Standard
Bank falling by the most at 2.57 percent to 192.00
(Reporting by Mfuneko Toyana and Nomvelo Chalumbira
Editing by Joe Brock)
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